Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond: Nonpunitive Discipline ≠ Lazy Parenting







Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond: Nonpunitive Discipline ≠ Lazy Parenting.


We love to marvel at how amazing the human brain is.  We are amazed at how much it grows from birth to age 5.  Even a brief study of cognitive or neural development will teach you that the human brain doesn’t fully develop until our early 20’s.  The very last thing we can physically access is a group of functions known as the ‘executive functions’.  Delay of gratification, impulse control, etc.

We know those abilities aren’t physically accessible to our toddlers and pre-schoolers but do we treat them like we know that?  I get especially frustrated watching a child be hit for not being able to control themselves.  What part of that is not abuse?  We know a child can’t do it, we know they physically lack the capacity, but we expect them to control themselves and hit them when they don’t.

Well, some of us do.  Some of us don’t.  I’d much rather teach my child gently.  With love, with compassion, and with patience.  Anyone who has spent time around a child can tell you that sometimes they get it.  Sometimes.  And in those moments, we celebrate together.

Romans tells us this: Romans 12:15-16 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.”

There is a note saying that being associated with people of low position also means being willing to do menial work.  Either translation is appropriate here.

I have no problem humbling myself to do the menial tasks of teaching my child over and over.  I have no problem getting down on her level to help her understand, and help her make a plan for next time.  If I seem simple, so be it.  I’m am not so proud as to hit a child for the sake of maintaining the right image.  This idea that we as Christians have to spank to be accepted as godly parents has to stop.


Filed under Christian Parenting

3 responses to “Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond: Nonpunitive Discipline ≠ Lazy Parenting

  1. Pingback: Understanding Our Little Ones | Why Not Train A Child?

  2. Gloria Mattson

    by the way, taking another look at these concepts has totally helped my attitude when dealing with Kayla’s moments of terrible-twos. When I take the time to explain why the answer is no, I find I’m treating her with respect and everyone is able to calm down and move forward. I’m so relieved, cuz I was really losing it way too often with her, and I don’t want to be that kind of parent.

  3. I’m so glad to hear that! Sometimes as parents we need to re-learn our lessons just as often as the kiddos need to re-learn theirs. Luckily, ours is a God of infinite grace. 🙂

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